By 2030, community energy projects should be powering the equivalent of 2.2 million homes across the UK.
That’s the verdict from Community Energy England (CEE), which says community-owned initiatives could generate 5,270MW by this time, supporting 8,700 jobs, saving 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and adding over £1.8 billion to the economy each year.
CEE calls for a transformation of the sector so “people are put at the heart of the energy system”, as not only consumers but also as active participants in and beneficiaries of a more decentralised, distributed and democratised grid.
It notes that in 2014, the government forecast one million homes would be powered by community energy by 2020 – however, only 10% of this figure has been realised and the group states: “We must not make this mistake again.”
It adds: “UK Government needs to offer policy and financial support that recognises community energy’s essential role in the net zero transition and the huge social and community benefit it brings.”